A married couple discovered with a 2,000 sq. ft. drug-growing operation hidden underneath a Bear-area home are now facing additional charges, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
According to U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss, 40-year-old Omar Morales Colon--also known as "El Tigre"--and his wife Shakira Martinez used their company Zemi Property Management Inc. to launder money from a drug operation by depositing large amounts of cash into bank accounts, then purchasing cashier's checks and using those to purchase properties around Delaware and Pennsylvania.
An unsuspecting home in the Bear area was actually a cover for a drug distribution ring with…
“While Colon already faced serious charges for distributing large amounts of drugs, this Superseding Indictment shows that the United States Government will not only look to incarcerate drug traffickers – we will endeavor to take their drug proceeds and dismantle their criminal organizations,” Weiss said.
Colon was indicted in June 2017, when federal authorities raided residences located at 4010 Kirkwood St. Georges Road in Bear, and 614 Rogers Avenue in Aston, Pennsylvania, and discovered $1 million in cash and, underneath the Bear home, a 2,000 sq. ft. bunker with 20 ft. high ceilings accessed via a false fireplace, which was used to hide more than 77 kilograms of cocaine and a "sophisticated hydroponic marijuana lab used to produce hundreds of pounds of high-grade marijuana.
At the time of the June indictment, his associates Roque Valdez, of California, and Mohamed Aviles Camberos, also known as "Peditros," of Mexico--part of the well-known and established Sinaloa drug cartel--were also charged, authorities said.
Between December of 2016 and May of 2017, authorities said Valdez and Camberos made four trips from California to Christiana, Delaware, to transport cocaine to Colon.
The new indictment issued May 1, 2018, to Colon and Martinez include additional drug and money laundering charges.